Province announces project to create more than 3,800 childcare spaces

Province announces project to create more than 3,800 childcare spaces

WATCH: There are parents across Vancouver Island desperate to find affordable childcare and some help is on the way. More than 900 new spaces will open on Vancouver Island in the next year or two. But is it enough? April Lawrence takes a look.

More than 3,800 childcare spaces are being created after an announcement from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

The province said a $33 million investment will see 103 projects in 52 communities adding new licensed childcare spaces.

89 new childcare spaces are on their way to Qualicum Beach, Hitacu and Royston.

Of the $1.1 million committed, $500,000 will go towards the Qualicum First Nation After School Care Centre in Qualicum Beach.

Another $500,000 will be used at to the Qwayaciik?iis Daycare in Hitacu, while $166,500 will be placed towards the Wee Care Early Childhood Centre at Royston Elementary.

Nanaimo will see 40 childcare spaces added with  $472,405 towards a new centre.

The focus of greatest need includes infant and toddler spaces, spots on school grounds or co-located in a community hub, inclusive space in child-development centres, Indigenous child-care and employer-based spaces.

The province is budgeting $352.5 million towards child-care.

“We are speeding up the creation of new childcare spaces to address years of pent-up demand for child care,” Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen said in a release.

“Our February budget will show our long-term commitment to building a system of accessible, affordable and quality childcare for families across the province.”

The plan includes building 62 new facilities and renovating 42 buildings for 847 infant and toddler spaces, 535 spaces in Indigenous communities and 1,153 spaces on school grounds.

Construction and renovations for the majority of projects are expected to begin soon.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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